Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Kubrick's Estate Should Sue....

You know those big stainless steel elevators, um, lifts,   at Heathrow? The ones with the metallic, disembodied voices? And the

big all seeing eyes? What would be a good name for those? Hmmm....

Monday, November 11, 2013

Armistice day 2013...

On 11/11 at 11:00, I found myself at the Oise-Aisne American Cemetery.

A couple of miles away I passed through Fere-en-Tardenois.  Great minds 

 think alike, that was the scene in the town square at the memorial. They even had the band.

Even though it's full of places like this

most of the names in the visitor's books at U. S. cemeteries now

are French. They remember.

It was as pretty a day as you could hope for- cool and clear.  As usual, the cemetery was immaculate. I hope it is a long time until we abandon these places.

     The capitals on the columns were planned by men who lived the war:

     Only  some Doughboy would have thought to include a can of corned Bill in this monument for Posterity.

     Alas I did not have my camera, just a telephone one so none of my tombstone pictures came out. A few things struck me as I strolled the lanes.

     A lot of the death dates are in 1919. The war ended on the 11th, but peritonitis, burn infection,  ordnance disposal, truck wrecks, and the 'flu kept going.

     There are several civilians, probably YMCA workers or some such.

     Interesting to see so many now obsolete ranks. I saw stevedore, bugler, wagoner, chauffeur, field clerk, and some others.

       We forget the uniting force of the War. This  cemetery holds mainly draftees.  Everyone got drafted- white and black, English speaker and Bohunk. Americans still practiced all sorts of segregation and all sorts of prejudice were standard. The foul creature Wilson led the way, racially segregating the Civil Service to please his Democratic Party base in the Solid South.  Yankee aristocrats and West Virginia miners and Mississippi sharecroppers would have never met in ordinary 1914 life.

     Here they are together, indiscriminately. It took a while to live up to it, but our country looks like this graveyard now.

     The names were interesting. Only about half had middle names or initials. Lots of Williams and Johns and Roberts, of course. My companion and I remarked on the names one never hears now, redolent of obscure Bible stories and the mountains of Bohemia.  And there were several short versions- I saw Charley, Mike, and Jack. And Joyce, too.

     Which led  me to a new sad thought.

     Of course all these men had stories that they never got to finish. Every one of them had a goal, a plan. Start a business.  Go back to the mill and work up to foreman. Teach at the school. Build up the family farm.  Take a correspondence course. Marry the girl. Play catch with the boy.  Go fishing with the Old Man or eat Mother's peach cobbler.  Shoot craps with the fellows on the corner. Sit under a tree on a hot day and chew on a blade of grass.

     Not one of those dreams happened.

     Every one of these men started a telegram, and with it a new batch of stories. Every one of those telegrams had one of these names on it.

      Where did they get Charley and Giovanni and Asa? The same way we get our Jamal and Chip. 

      Every one of those names was chosen carefully by proud parents for their perfect little son, their hope.

      Let's use uncle's name.  Daniel is fine, a brave Prophet.  Alright, we'll call him after YOUR father. Jövünk Magyarországról, de mi hívjuk George Washington elnök után.  You're my best pal, will you stand up at the christening?

     And all those mothers and fathers saw all those names on all those telegrams.

     Everyone who votes for a war, everyone who cheerleads for one, should have to do it from a place like this.

     Oh, and one more thing. We were there for an hour and a half.

          Had the place to ourselves.


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Back to France! Day one at Cheverny...

That's right...


Today, at Cheverny. This is a small forest, near the house of the same name in the Loire valley. Unexpected pleasure, a joint meet with the lovely Rivecourt!

A cheval!

Not everyone gets to go...

I am ready!

First draw...

Hounds found quickly, and pushed a Dague (I think) to the right...

Alas wrong stag, so a gather up and recast.

Hounds found again, and out of the drawn quarter came a fox!

(Clicquez on the picture, he's in the left center.)

Une biche aussi...

At which point I became even more confused. Plenty of bicycle

and car hunters were trying to figure it out...

And then hounds got loud inside the forest. Out of sight, but not far, and lovely back and forth music.

Eventually they faded away, and off we went.

The day turned pretty, dappled with light in the forest.

Turns out they had put him into water-that first bay was what we heard- then he ran again, and was killed. We went back for the curee.

Trotteur wanted to help wash the antlers...

Attention photographers, a new use for a crutch..

This Master is always careful of her hounds.

And ils l'aiment right back.

        Remember, friend, as you pass by,

                  As you are now so once was I.

                         As I am now you soon will be,

                                Prepare each day to follow me.

Rappelez-vous, mon ami, que vous passez devant,
Comme vous êtes maintenant donc une fois c'était moi.
Comme je suis en train de vous le seront bientôt,

Préparer chaque jour pour me suivre.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

More of our Cold Hearted Staff...

So we have someone new in the office. She came back from her D. A. R. luncheon, and asked if we had received the video of a jail riotette which we are prosecuting. Staghounds: "Not here yet." New Employee: "I want to see it." Sh: "You certainly are bloodthirsty." N.E.: "Yes, I am." She will work out fine...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Just for Roberta..

The National Electronics Museum, who knew?  Bonus, one can see it from a Booz Allen Hamilton building!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Our Illiterate Journalists...

Gell- Mann effect in effect... "Each side has 10 preemptory challenges..." No, it's PEREMPTORY, expert with layers of oversight.

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Jay Hileman Coward,I Am Embarrassed For My Profession...

So the news tells us that coward Jay Hileman has been frightened away from prosecuting a case.


Every day we ask victims and ordinary citizens to come to court and testify. The criminals know who the witnesses against them are and where they live. They don't have special protection. Many live in violent slums, gang ridden housing projects or out in the country far from help.

We expect out Police Officers to go out day after day on predictable patrol routes, wearing uniforms.

For a prosecutor to give in to the fear from which victims, witnesses, and Police Officers CANNOT "withdraw"  is shameful.

" Security concerns"? Every old lady in every bad neighbourhood in the country has "security concerns" you cannot imagine, Mr. $100, 000 man in a suit.

This is almost worse than Nifong.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Ah, that day....

Who knew that all you needed was a hawk to put the little b*stard out of commission?

Saturday, February 09, 2013


So off for a day in the Great Plains. Started the day with a brief training draw with a visiting farmer pack. Good looking hounds, and they worked a little line but we had to go. (Emo note, dined last night with, among others, the visitors' whipper-in and his wife. They were so cute, he was like a sixteen year old with his first date. Just charming.) Unboxed on the windy steppe. A small field and fourteen and a half couple.
The huntsman had very generously shown me his pack and pointed out two in particular. "Pickle" here is ten years old and, he told me, is still keen as mustard and does not miss a day. You can see that she is as fit as a flea.
This hound is nearly blind, can still get around but no foggy days!
They aren't running Greenwich Hospital, the rest of the hounds looked fast and healthy. They just love their hounds!
So away we went. This was my first visit to the Great American Desert, and desolate is the word.
It's like Exmoor, but much flatter and without all the green. The poor graziers here have been in drought for two years, and it shows. Even I can see the low water table, trickling streams, and dried ponds. I hope this year is better for them, who'd be a farmer?
The country is still good to hunt over. There were two brothers whipping-in in trucks, they put me with the elder and drew. We saw a coyote sneaking away across a field, but about that time hounds struck to our south and it was on! The pack split, driving one east into a river bottom and another south. The huntsman saw houns run into the eastbound one, so he decided to chase the other and let the other hounds come on. We barreled around south, to come upon...
Younger brother mounted our truck, and away we bounced. The pace was too good to enquire...
No pictures, because we were travelling at speed. Saw a total of three coyotes ourselves, two hunted ones, and the field saw two more. Add the one a whipper-in saw, and six afoot in a three hour period. Not bad. They called it a day and headed back north. A bit of vehicle salvage...
But we were still four couple short. As the returning hounds neared the river bank, we found them...
About fifteen feet below us in the watercourse! They had followed that coyote up under a washed out tree root,
And were marking like crazy! They were snarled up in those roots so tight that they had to be dragged out, hounds were falling from the sky! And who was the last one hauled out, the one closest to the coyote? You guessed it, Pickle. So they gave him best, a sporting ending to an interesting, fun, educational, and surprising day. Plus, truck tipover!
This was my thirtieth pack of hounds to watch this season. Hunt ho, indeed. Thank you for the opportunity, HotGirl!